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Multiple sclerosis is a life-long chronic disease diagnosed primarily in young adultsNINDS Multiple Sclerosis Information Page 2000 p1 Multiple Sclerosis MS is a disease of unknown cause that affects the nervous system It may cause problems with vision strength coordination speech bladder control sensation or other faculties governed by the eyes brain or spinal cord Both men and women are affected These types of problems caused by this disease and the severity of those problems vary greatly from person to person In any affected individual the type and severity of problems associated with the disease are also likely to vary from year to year How the disease will start what course it will follow and what chronic problems the affected person will acquire are unpredictableLechtenberg 1995 p1 Multiple means more than one and sclerosis refers to areas of scarred tissue Multiple Sclerosis is also the most commonly demyelinating disease of the cen tral nervous system During an MS attack inflammation occurs in areas of the white matter of the central nervous system nerve fibers that are the site of MS lesions in random patches called plaques This process is followed by destruction of myelin which insulates nerve cell fibers in the brain and spinal cord Myelin facilitates the smooth high speed transmissions of electrochemical messages between the brain the spinal cord and the rest of the bodyNINDS 2000 p1 MS varies considerably from one person to another It can cause different symptoms which affects various parts of the body Many people only experience a few of these symptoms and no one has all of themMS Society 2000 p1 Symptoms may include tingling pins and needles numbness double or blurred vision clumsiness of fine movements or of walking frequency and urgency or urination muscle weakness and spasms pain or paralysis incoordination and mood or thought disturbances Motor symptoms include weakness spasticity ataxia loss of balance and speech disorders Sensory symptoms include pins and needles tingling
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